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Legendary Film Star Sidney Poitier, Oscar Winner and Civil Rights Activist, Dies at 94

HeadlineJan 10, 2022

The pioneering film legend Sidney Poitier has died at the age of 94. In 1963, Poitier became the first Black man to win an Academy Award for Best Actor. Poitier’s many films included “Lilies of the Field,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” which he also performed on Broadway, and “In the Heat of the Night,” a story about a Black police officer contending with racism in the Jim Crow South. Poitier was active in the civil rights movement. In 1964, he flew with Harry Belafonte to Jackson, Mississippi, carrying $70,000 in cash to fund the Freedom Summer campaign to register Black voters. The pair were harassed and chased by armed members of the Ku Klux Klan. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said of Sidney Poitier, “I consider him a friend. I consider him a great friend of humanity.”

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